Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity, The Heart of Wyoming has constructed 41 homes in Natrona County.
Seven homes have been completed and two homes are currently under construction at Harris Crossing, the affiliate's first subdivision in
Our partner families and their dreams of homeownership are at
the center of our mission. Their
story is our story.
What does your dream home look like?
“Ours. The home has good curb appeal
and is very enjoyable."
- Habitat Homeowner, Melanie Cantu-Busler
With no construction experience to speak of, Elicia Nekut, 25, is excited to build her own home for herself and her daughter Emmi, 7.
“When people come to visit my home, I can say ‘I built this,’” Elicia said. “I have never built anything, but I think building my own
home will make me value it more.”
Elicia has been a sales representative with 307 Metal Works for more than three years. She enjoys her job, but had her hours
reduced earlier this year as a result of the pandemic. After applying to the Homeownership Program in January 2020, Elicia was
not sure if she wanted to try again. It was her mother that encouraged her to do so.
Elicia has been living in affordable housing for six years, but does not feel like her apartment is truly her home. Her daughter, who loves the outdoors, has not had a place to play outside due to safety concerns. Consequently, Elicia and Emmi spend much of their time at her parents’ home.
By becoming a homeowner, Elicia will be able to host company in the future and invite her extended family to her own home. More importantly, Elicia wants to provide safety and stability for her daughter.
“I want somewhere she can grow up, and where I can start a new chapter as a mom,”
Elicia said. While her daughter may not fully understand how homeownership will change their lives, Elicia is eager to free herself from the restrictions that come with living in an apartment building.
“I’m looking forward to closing day and moving in,” she said. “I want my own home.”
In 2012, Samantha Moravetz’s life changed forever. She was in a car accident that required hospitalization. Without health
insurance, Samantha was overwhelmed with the bills that followed. Samantha, 33, said her desire to become a Habitat for
Humanity homeowner was her motivation for becoming debt-free.
Growing up, Samantha recalls her family frequently moving, oftentimes into a trailer or apartment. That is not the life she
wants for her 7-year-old son Eddie.
“I want Eddie to feel he has a place to come home to and to grow up in,” Samantha explained. “I know a lot of people who
don’t have that.”
Motivated by a better life for her family, Samantha resolutely began the slow process of addressing her debt and becoming
financially stable. Starting in July 2018, she began applying for Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program. It was not
until her fifth application that she was accepted.
“I wanted the Selection Committee to see how committed I am to the Homeownership Program and to being debt-free,” she said. “I don’t want to depend on anyone for the rest of my life. I achieved where I am through hard work.”
Today, Samantha is no longer focused on the next application cycle, but instead, she is ready to begin building her own home.
After many years of living in public housing, Samantha is looking forward to the security of owning her own home and the
space it will provide Eddie. Purchasing her own home will mean the simple joy of having something that is entirely her own.
“I’ve never owned anything except a car,” Samantha said. “I want to be able to say, ‘I have this, and I’m never going to move
Previously a homeowner, circumstances required Sara Fritsinger, 46, to sell her home. There was not an inch of the house Sara did not touch in preparing to sell.
“I painted the entire house, painted the cabinets, put in new flooring,” she said, adding that her daughters helped. “It was therapeutic.
We had fun.”
After selling their home, Sara and her daughters, Charlize, 18, and Ashlyn, 16, moved in with her parents, where they lived for four years. During this time, Sara was on the waiting list for low-income housing for a year and a half, but still longed for something of her own.
Previously employed in the medical field, Sara’s career demanded long hours away from her daughters. Wanting to prioritize her family over everything else, Sara left her position and sought new opportunities within the community.
Through it all, faith has had an important role in Sara and her family’s life. Being highly involved in their faith community at Restoration Church, Sara began volunteering to provide lunch to high school students in need. More than ever, Sara knew she wanted to pursue work that had purpose and where she would make a difference for others. After serving in various roles for the
organization, Sara became the church finance manager.
“I love working there,” Sara said. “It was an easy hand-off – I’d much rather feel like a good mom and have a fulfilling job than make a lot of money.”
Knowing homeownership remained a goal, Pastor Randy Raver shared information about Habitat for Humanity’s Homeownership Program and encouraged Sara to apply. During her time with Restoration Church, Sara has seen many people in need and struggled to think that a program like this could be available for her family.
“I know there’s such a need for affordable housing in Casper,” she said. “I didn’t want to take something from someone else. It’s just amazing there are programs like Habitat.”
With a new perspective, Sara decided to apply and has since become a future homeowner in the Harris Crossing subdivision.
“We make home wherever we are, but this is where we can plant roots.”